farewell Pokhara

After over 3 weeks in-and-out of the (former?) hippy enclave of Lakefront, Pokhara on lake Fewa, I’m finally moving on.

Within 30 kilometres (19 miles), the elevation rises from 1,000 to 7,500 metres (3,300 to 24,600 feet).

My guest house was up high with good vistas.

Pokhara, like Kathmandu, is usually hazy with poor mountain views. But we got one very clear day.

Machapuchare (Fishtail) is my favourite mountain.

Colourful row boats are emblematic of the city.

Fishing is popular with locals and visitors from the subcontinent.

There’s not all that much to do in Pokhara. Most spend their time relaxing meal-to-meal.

My go-to Himalayan dinner is called a Sizzler, for obvious reasons.

Some randoms.

Political Party parade.
Police Force laundry.
Pema Dechan Ling

donating / volunteering in Nepal

Nepal is still one of the poorest nations in the world.

While there in 2019 I attended a fund-raiser called Warm Clothes & Warm Hearts.

Loved the simplicity of this project. They deliver Nepali-made down jackets to children in high, cold, remote parts of the country. Some years they deliver shoes / socks also.

100% of your donation goes directly to purchasing children’s clothing. Overhead and administration costs are covered by a separate fund.

Learn more about Warm Clothes & Warm Hearts.

The organization, out of Pokhara, called karmaflights.org has many more charitable projects. I recommend them if you want to donate or volunteer.

Children of Men by P. D. James

P. D. James is one of the greatest crime writer all time. She died in 2014 (aged 94).

I’d read a number of her books over the years — but nothing like The Children of Men (1992).

Set in England in 2021, it centres on the results of mass infertility. James describes a United Kingdom that is steadily depopulating and focuses on a small group of resisters who do not share the disillusionment of the masses. …

In 1994, the sperm count of human males plummeted to zero …

In 2006, a film adaptation was directed by Alfonso Cuarón, starring Julianne Moore and Clive Owen. …

The movie plot is much changed. Far more dramatic.

The book is subtle. Slow paced and philosophical.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The shocker of the book is when one of the protesters gets pregnant. And delivers the first baby in decades.

I can’t say I enjoyed this book as much as James’ usual whodunnits. But it is well executed if you are interested in this kind of dystopian novel.

While reading this tale on Kindle, I was simultaneously listening to The Testaments (2019) by Margaret Atwood. The sequel to another dystopian novel of infertility.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

The Testaments is a 2019 novel by Margaret Atwood.

It is a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale (1985).

The novel is set 15 years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale.

It is narrated by Aunt Lydia, a character from the previous novel; Agnes, a young woman living in Gilead; and Daisy, a young woman living in Canada.

Spoiler – Agnes and Daisy are the daughters of June Osborne / Offred / Ofjoseph (Elisabeth Moss in the TV series).

The highlight of the sequel is Aunt Lydia, for sure. Her backstory. Her rise to power as an Aunt overseeing the women of Gilead. Atwood said that Dowd’s performance as Aunt Lydia on the series helped inspire the new novel

Ann Dowd plays the Aunt Lydia role in the TV series. And she reads the part in the audio book.

My only quibble with the otherwise very good book is the plot. It’s absurd to think this was the only way to get Aunt Lydia’s Testaments to Canada. Absurd.

Yesterday – my movie review

I loved the recent Freddie Mercury biopic. But was disappointed with the Elton John movie released shortly after.

The trailer for Yesterday looked fantastic. I could not wait.

The film IS charming and entertaining. Subtle too. Ed Sheeran’s participation awesome.

Best character, of course, is Kate McKinnon as the greedy manager.

Click PLAY or watch the trailer on YouTube.

my Nepal ‘Dental Vacation’

Here’s Smilemaker’s Dental Clinic in Pokhara, Nepal.

Oops … that’s actually the Peace Pagoda looking over to my favourite mountain — Fishtail.

Here’s Smilemaker’s.

That’s Dr. Avishek M. Gubhaju. I was very happy with him, personally.

Nepal is much cheaper than Mexico.

I had a 3 tooth bridge put in:

Canada – perhaps $3,000
Mexico – perhaps $1,200

I paid $340 in Nepal.

I did not get zirconia, rather the metal at about $120 / tooth.

I ended up getting a Cantilevered Bridge. That’s not ideal. The fake teeth are only attached to a retainer at one side. It will (hopefully) last 5-7 years. Next would come implants, something I’m trying to avoid. Or possible an old school partial denture.

I liked the dentist so much that I went back after my trekking. He did some cosmetic work on my lower teeth. Cost was $100. No Canadian dentist would be willing to do that at any price. They’d insist on expensive veneers.

Night Fire by Michael Connelly (2019)

Though Bosch has had knee replacement surgery, this book is as good as any other in the series.

Harry Bosch and LAPD Detective Renée Ballard come together again on the murder case that obsessed Bosch’s mentor, the man who trained him to be a homicide detective. …

Bosch brings the murder book to Renée Ballard and asks her to help him find what about the case lit Thompson’s fire all those years ago. That will be their starting point.

The bond between Bosch and Ballard tightens as they become a formidable investigation team. And they soon arrive at a worrying question: Did Thompson steal the murder book to work the case in retirement, or to make sure it never got solved?

PS: Mickey Haller is in The Night Fire, too.

Click PLAY or watch a teaser on YouTube.